Monster of the dark, why do you come to me at night and steal my joy so readily; and leave me shaking, a small child, lost alone and terrified?
Monster: I steal nothing, young heart of mine, that you do not wish already stolen, that you have not already offered on table for me. Nothing you have not called me forward to retrieve and swallow whole. Nothing you do not already miss because you never allowed yourself to seize it. This fickle mind of yours, so solid in one truth, and then the next. How bitter the taste to savor something that is already abandoned.
Monster, I do not understand. How do I wish anything to be stolen?
Monster: You speak of love. Love, love, love. You cherish love. You want love; but when this love is given to you, you know not what to do with it. Instead it as if you spit on love. Spit and spit, unwilling to even grasp the idea of someone loving you. And yet you say you love? Ha! I laugh in your face. I spit in your face. If you loved than you would gladly take this love they give.
Monster, this is not true. You live in a false illusion. What you see is the fantasy world. You cannot see my world. Only muted shades of black and white. You see no colors. You do not know what I feel and what I hold to me.
Monster: Then why don’t you take in what these people tell you?
Monster, I do not know. I want to. I open my arm and hands and heart and mind, and I want to. But I cannot feel it, any of it. Everything of this world feels numb to me. This world of love. Everything seems a ribbon or prize…nothing that I am worthy of. I cannot take these prizes when I do not feel I have been a participant in the race or contest. Yet, life feels so very much like a contest, where in everyone is struggling for prize. And I don’t want to be like this, yearning for one prize after the next. Constantly striving. I just want to be.
Monster: But you don’t take at all. You don’t accept at all. You are this constant giver who will not receive. And that makes you a monster, too. Do you not see? The greatest gift is to accept what others give, to with open hand reach out and accept their truth as your truth. This is not absolute. This does not make them right or you wrong. This does not make you prideful. This makes you real. And yet you play this dance where you cannot accept, cannot stand to feel. What is it you fear from these feelings? What do you fear?
Dear Monster I fear loss. I fear if I collect anything—friendship, objects, compliments, words, or thoughts—that they will eventually be lost. People leave. People perish. Objects come and go. Opinions change, and words they are shape-shifters based on the speaker and witness.
Monster: Yes. Yes. But you miss the greatest point, the finite reason that your theory, your way, is flawed. For if you spend your whole life not accepting for fear of loss, then you spend your whole life losing for fear of accepting. You set yourself up from the start to suffer loss over loss, without remission. Where if you were to open your hands and let some slip into your possession, then chances are you will hold onto some and lose some. But then again, even the lost was once had. With your way nothing is ever had. Why are you so afraid to feel?
Dear Monster: If I let myself feel, I risk everything. If I let myself love, I risk everything. If I let myself think for a fraction of a second that I am special, I risk self. I do not know the fine line. I do not know how to remain humble and how to accept love at the same time. I know how to give love. I know that well.
Monster: No, you do not! You do not know how to give love. You think you do. You think love is sacrifice. Love is not sacrifice. Love has no feelings, other than love. Nothing that pulls and tugs, digs or plunges, nothing that burns or confuses, nothing that makes someone hurt, is of love. You are not giving love, you are giving fear. You are giving what you think love is. You are giving a safety net, a security blanket, a voice to calm the potential storm. Do not look at people as if they are about to explode or cry or reject. Look at people how you want to be seen. How do you want to be seen?
Dear Monster: I want to be seen as a loving worthwhile being of light. I want to be seen as important and special. I want to be held over and over again in kindness and affection. I want people to come to me for shelter and I want to receive shelter. I want to be weak and strong. I want to be happy and sad. I want to be me in totality and to be loved unconditionally.
Monster: Then you have your answers. Let people see your light. Let people see you are important and special. Let people hold you in kindness and affection. Let people be your shelter. Let people love you unconditionally, in all your states. They are trying, but you are not letting them, dear child. That is why I steal from you at night. For you leave everything out on the table like scraps for the dog. And I smell this waste. I smell this discarded love. And of course I come after you. I am hungry. I am starved. I am the monster that is you, who refuses to eat, and instead cried that there is no food. How many times must a man say he cares until you listen? You feed off of ghosts and cry of starvation when there are plates full all around you. How can you point fingers at me, this monster, who only comes out crawling when he is called by the bitter woes of you? You ring anger’s bell. You ring sadness’s bell. You summon me again and again with this feast of forgotten love. And I take. Of course I take, because you will not.
Dear Monster: Friend indeed, a part of me. Here to show me what I cannot see. How I trick myself time and time again thinking there is something in the shadows stealing and haunting my dreams; when in truth I am my own shadow, my own monster, my own robber of hope. How I do remember now, my familiar face—the hideous claws—the fang-like teeth—how I remember hiding them onto myself so I could face the world. So long ago, I hid you monster, my fierce protector and guide. So long ago when you were once beautiful, a lovely song, a summer’s sweetheart. How I hid you and disfigured you, and made you this hideous teacher to blame. And now you come out, to me, in truth, and I take your hand. I see your beauty. Your eyes. Your hair. Your breath. The very essence of you. You are beauty from the dark. I am beauty from the light. And together we make days upon days, birthed out of wholeness and completion. Nothing is as it seems. Nothing at all. When even the darkness is me.